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A Tour of Marietta
When Spanish explorers were first making their way through North America in 1567, they heard a tale of a far-off mountain: “Very high, shining when the sun set like a fire.” These stories would bring them to the magnificent Stone Mountain in what would one day become Georgia.
Standing at 1,686 feet above sea level, Stone Mountain has been called the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. Unfortunately, this claim to fame is a common misconception. Stone Mountain’s composition actually ranges from quartz monzonite to granite and granodiorite. That said, Stone Mountain granite was historically sought after and used in projects around the world, including the foundation of the Lincoln Memorial, the locks of the Panama Canal, and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. According to the Stone Mountain Park website, “Virtually every state has a building that uses Stone Mountain granite.”
Though quarrying stopped in the 1970s, today Stone Mountain Park is the most popular tourist attraction in Georgia. From the north side of the mountain, visitors can see the Confederate Memorial Carving. Though this carving is the largest high relief sculpture in the world, it’s not what keeps visitors coming back. This falls alone Stone Mountain will host the Yellow Daisy Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, EGGtoberfest, the Stone Mountain Highland Games, the Country Living Fair, and the Native American Festival and Pow Wow.
Even on days without a festival, the area’s natural beauty draws regular guests. Visitors have been hiking the trail up to the top of Stone Mountain for generations — and if you don’t feel like hiking, you can take the cable car to the peak. Stone Mountain is so much more than a giant hunk of granite. Visit StoneMountainPark.com to learn everything this natural wonder has to offer.